Local Gahanna band Peligro will compete in Anaheim, Calif., on Jan. 15 for the title of "Best Teen Band in the USA."

Local Gahanna band Peligro will compete in Anaheim, Calif., on Jan. 15 for the title of "Best Teen Band in the USA."

Along with nine other finalists in the second annual SchoolJam USA competition, Peligro is vying for a grand-prize trip to perform at the original SchoolJam festival in Frankfurt, Germany.

Peligro includes senior Chandler Eggleston, rhythm guitar; freshman Dominic Frissora, vocals; sophomore Luke Hatfield, drums; sophomore Jon Suh, lead guitar; and sophomore Tyler Viers, bass.

Carolyn Frissora, Dominic's mother, said the band was voted among the top two in its region.

"We know we were in the top two in our region, but they didn't tell us how many votes separated us," she said. "We feel it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They're excited to be this far and to experience this. They're thrilled to be out there."

Peligro advanced to the finals after people cast a total of 112,000 votes online for their favorite teen band among 47 competitors.

"We're all really excited," Hatfield told ThisWeek. "At the same time, we know it's one step. It's the easy step of a hard process. We have to hit it harder to be prepared."

Peligro will be judged on musicianship and stage presence when the band plays three original songs: "Hollywood Red," "My Satisfaction" and "Lay it Down."

The live SchoolJam USA finals event will be held at downtown Disney during the weekend of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show, the largest musical-instruments and products trade show in the world.

"I've listened to the other finalists, and it's the most talent-packed show," Hatfield said. "I think our stage presence will be competitive. Just to play a show in California, regardless of what happens, is cool. We're happy."

Frissora said the band would post its performance online, following the competition. Go to www.myspace.com/Peligro614.

As a finalist, the group already has won $1,000 for Gahanna Lincoln High School's music program.

In addition to the trip to Germany, the first-place band will win a private music-video recording session on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, $1,000 for the purchase of new music gear and an additional $5,000 for its school music program.

The remaining finalists also will receive money to purchase new gear, as well as funding for their respective school music programs.

"All of us at NAMM are inspired by these teen bands' passion to make music and keep music education programs alive in their schools," said Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. "Teens across the country are helping to create awareness of the importance of music-making in their lives, and SchoolJam USA offers them a platform to showcase their musical talents."The SchoolJam USA top 10 band finalists, including two wildcard picks, are Clearly from Negligence Fairport, N.Y.; Dangerous Daze of Charlotte, N.C.; Orpheus of De Pere, Wis.; Peligro; Rooftop Manor of Port Washington, N.Y.; Schmillion of Austin, Texas; The Freefall of Fountain Valley, Calif.; The Jessica Prouty Band of Marblehead, Mass.; Uprising of Raceland, La.; and VIA of Salt Lake City.

SchoolJam USA is an established music initiative, originally developed by MM MusikMedia Germany, to promote popular and rock music in schools throughout Germany. The program has provided thousands of musical young adults with an opportunity to perform and network with their peers. In the United States, NAMM has collaborated with MENC, Music For All and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus to develop SchoolJam USA, following two successful years of SchoolJam Texas, produced by NAMM and the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) in 2007 and 2008, in conjunction with the original SchoolJam in Germany.